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National Patient Safety Agency

NPSA’s Rapid Response Reports recognised for excellence

13 September 2010

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has been given national recognition for the quality and clarity of clinical information contained within its Rapid Response Reports.


The NHS Evidence Accreditation Scheme – a national programme which recognises the high quality of information for health and social care staff – found that the NPSA has robust systems in place to produce the guidance.


Assessors noted that the NPSA involved a wide range of stakeholders when producing each report and that the recommendations were clear and specific and were distributed widely and rapidly.

Rapid Response Reports contain brief, timely guidance which alert the NHS to a problem identified from the patient safety incidents reported to the National Reporting and Learning Service. 


They are part of a response process which enables the NPSA to identify serious risks and problems from the reporting system that could be common across a number of NHS organisations.  

NPSA’s Director of Patient Safety, Dr Suzette Woodward, said: “We are delighted with this national endorsement.  This accreditation means that we can now carry the NHS Evidence accreditation mark on all of our Rapid Response Reports.  I hope clinicians within the NHS across England and Wales feel they can use our advice with even more confidence in their efforts to increase levels of patient safety.”

Dr Gillian Leng, Chief Operating Officer at NHS Evidence said: “We are very pleased to award accreditation to the NPSA for its process to produce Rapid Response Reports.  These important safety alerts help guide the decisions of healthcare professionals to ensure patients are given safe treatment and reduce the likelihood of harm.  The advisory committee’s decision highlights the work that the NPSA has put into producing rigorous reports that help healthcare professionals to deliver the best standard of care to their patients.”


The NPSA has issued 31 Rapid Response Reports since 2007 when they were introduced, with topics including avoiding wrong side burr holes, aftercare following gastrostomy, vaccine storage, retained vaginal swabs, and water supply to haemodialysis units.


For a full list of topics that have been included within previous Rapid Response Reports, please visit http://www.nrls.npsa.nhs.uk/resources/


Notes to editors


1. Media enquiries to the NPSA Press Office:

Simon Morgan – 020 7927 9580 / simon.morgan@npsa.nhs.uk

Dominic Stevenson – 020 7927 9351 / dominic.stevenson@npsa.nhs.uk


Out of hours – 0788 411 5956


2. Following the publication of the Arms Length Body Review on 26 July 2010, the NPSA has stressed the importance for all NHS organisations across England and Wales to continue reporting patient safety incidents through the National Reporting and Learning System. This is so that trends in safety incidents can be identified and acted upon as early as possible.  This aspect of our work will continue within the new proposed structure of the NHS Commissioning Board and we will continue to work together in partnership with NHS organisations to make services even safer for patients.  We will continue to monitor the implementation of all patient safety alerts and guidance.


3. For further information on the NHS Accreditation Scheme, please visit: http://www.evidence.nhs.uk/ or contact Kristin O’Leary on 0161 219 3778


4. View the final accreditation report at: http://www.evidence.nhs.uk/Accreditation/Documents/NPSA_Final_accreditation_document.pdf